Category: AGM & meetings (Page 1 of 2)

Ashworth Mansions AGM – 3 June 2010, Paddington Sports Club 7pm

Dear Flat Owner

Ashworth Mansions is owned by its flat owners and managed by the company on their behalf. Every year we hold an annual general meeting that approves the accounts, elects directors and discusses issues of common concern.

We do hope you can join us for this year’s meeting. The agenda, company and service charge accounts together with accompanying explanatory note is attached.

If you would like to stand for election as a director, please complete and return the form attached. We have space for extra directors and would welcome any flat owners with energy and some time to spare. Knowledge of law, accountancy or property management would be helpful but not essential.

Also, if you have any other items you would like to discuss under AoB, please let me know in advance.

I look forward to seeing you on 3 June.

Yours sincerely

Geoffrey Barraclough

Chair, Ashworth Mansions Ltd

editor@ashworthmansions.com

Summary of October 2008 Board Meeting

Water Mains

The board is concerned at the slow pace of the project and has asked kfh to take over management of it. An independent engineer’s opinion will be sought and discussed at the December meeting.

Company Business

The auditor has valued shares at £1725. It was agreed to write to all non-shareholding flat owners to see if they would like to buy one.

According to the leases, ground rent should rise from £100 to £200 this year. It was agreed to waive this increase for the time being and consult with shareholders at the AGM next May.

A small deficit of £8K was incurred in the 06/07 accounts and was scheduled to be charged to flat owners in December 2008. Initial indications are that we ran a surplus in 07/08 and the managing agents were asked to carry the deficit forward rather than charging it.

The agreement with the former freeholder for a new lease on the porter’s flat states that the former freeholder will pay major works service charges including contributions to the sinking fund. Ashworth Mansions Ltd will pay the regular service charge. It was agreed that this money will come from regular repayments for the loan made by AML to the service charge at the time of the 2001/2 major works. There are sufficient funds to last for over 10 years.

Hot Water Review

It was agreed that we should write to flat owners on the hot water system to explain our board’s conclusion that a move to independent heating was not feasible.

Asbestos Removal

Following advice from kfh, it was agreed not to pursue the former freeholder for the cost of asbestos removal from the bike store as there are no legal grounds for recovery.

New surveyors

The board agreed that appointment of new surveyors was a matter of urgency. Two directors agreed to interview shortlisted candidates and report back to the next meeting.

Building work

It was agreed to proceed with woodwork repairs to flats 8, 8a and 9 at a cost of £1100 + VAT.

There have been continued problems with the emergency lighting. The units are expensive (£21 each to replace) but keep failing. An electrical test has shown that the units are correctly fitted.

The front doors have been repainted satisfactorily.

Following redecorations to three flats in block five, the stairwell decoration has been damaged and the interior lightwell left full of building materials. The managing agent was asked to ensure that the relevant flat owners made good the damage.

Summary of August 2008 Board Meeting

Finance

 

Asbestos – Freshwater has refused to pay for the removal of the asbestos from the bike sheds. The board asked the managing agent to clarify the legal position.

 

Caretaker’s flat – the board agreed to proceed with the signing of the new lease on the flat with Freshwater. Our lawyers have confirmed that Freshwater must pay contributions to the reserve fund but not to the service charge account.

 

Budget – a draft budget for 08/09 was discussed and was broadly endorsed by the board. However, the board decided that the managing agent needed to circulate a final estimate of spending in 07/08 before it could be signed off.

  

Building works

 

Entrance doors – in the event of a power failure the main entrance doors will not open (from the outside) with the fobs. The managing agents were asked to investigate back-up systems.

 

Internal redecoration – the board agreed to release the final £1000 retention to the contractors (Manilva) following the final completion of some minor snagging items. The managing agents were asked to proceed with the repainting of the main entrance doors.

 

Light fittings – the emergency light fittings have been failing repeatedly despite a claimed 3 -4 year lifespan. The units are expensive (£21 each) and it was agreed to get the wiring checked before going ahead with replacements.


Water Mains – the main contractor has quoted to draw up plans of the existing supply to each flat. The board felt that this was an expensive approach and requested alternatives.

 

Drains – Waterflow (the contractor) will replace the two gullies outside flat 56a and replace a defective down pipe outside block one. The cost of £7K is covered by the existing contract.

 

Garden gates – new locks have been fitted and the supplier has returned to site to make them more secure. The managing agent was asked to ensure that the locks were painted.

 

Individual flats

 

Satellite TV – the managing agents wrote to flat owners to gauge interest in the Hot Bird satellite. Only two flat replied in the affirmative so the idea will not be pursued.

 

Flat owner works in block 5 – two flats in block five have been redecorated and the carpet/stairwell has been damaged. The managing agent was asked to recover the costs of repairing the damage from the flats concerned.

  

Block 3 – Residents of block three have asked whether a passage way can be opened up from their stairwell to the garden through the old bike sheds. After some discussion, the board agreed that it had no objections in principle to the scheme but noted that the leasehold on the bike shed belonged to Freshwater.

 

Company business

 

Chairman – John Sutcliffe resigned as chairman of Ashworth Mansions Ltd due to pressure of other work commitments. The board thanked him for his hard work and unanimously elected Geoffrey Barraclough in his place.

 

Coal stores – ownership of the coal stores has still not been established as they do not appear on any plans.

 

 

 

Summary of March 2008 board meeting

Finance

The service charge accounts for the year ending September 2007 were presented. These have been audited and will be circulated to flat owners.

Internal decoration

There is still a small outstanding amount held against the payment to the contractor for the interior redecoration. The board agreed not to release this until snagging is completed.

Water mains

It was agreed to take advice from BTU (the contractor installing the new pump and break tanks) about the best way to get the flats connected to the new system once it is up and running.

Asbestos

Freshwater  is yet to respond to our request for reimbursement of the cost of asbestos removal from the bike shed. The managing agent was asked to chase this. Meanwhile, Air Surveys have finished the work.

Drain repairs

It was agreed to proceed with the drain repairs as soon as possible.

Porter’s flat

The board agreed to the new rent proposed by Freshwater – £18K p.a. compared to £12K hitherto. Having taken professional advice, the board feels that the higher figure is a fair reflection of the market value of the flat. However, a couple of other conditions on the proposed contract remain unacceptable and the managing agent was asked to review these with Freshwater.

Individual flats

One flat owner applied to install a wet room. The board asked the flat owner to put forward new plans which would no longer require the installation of a pump unit to dispose of the waste.

One flat owner is suffering from severe noise nuisance from a musician (tenant) in a neighbouring flat. The managing agent has written to the musician’s landlord. The flat owner has been advised to contact Westminster Council.

Three different flats have reported leaking balconies. The contractor has recommended a new sealant and it was agreed to use this subject to it being a reasonable cost.

Building works

The managing agents were asked to implement the recommendations of the recent health and safety report. This mainly involved repairs to the casing of electrical installations.

It was agreed that the garden lighting cables should be properly buried. The managing agent was asked to obtain quotes for this.

None of the abandoned bicycles has been claimed. The managing agent is trying to find a charity who might be interested in taking them off our hands.

AML shares

It was agreed to proceed with the sales of AML shares. The auditor will be instructed to produce a valuation based on the asset value of the shares. Flat owners interested should contact the company secretary.

Coal stores

One flat owner had enquired whether the coal stores beneath the Grantully  Road frontage were available for purchase/rent. Daron has cleaned these out and they  could potentially make good storage. There was much discussion and it was agreed to continue the debate at a future meeting.

Summary of December 2007 Board Meeting

 Caretakers report

Bicycles – It was agreed KFH would write to residents asking them to claim and remove bicycles that appeared to be abandoned in the various store rooms and boiler room beneath the block. Residents will be given one month to claim them and then they will be disposed of.

Illegal parking – a motor scooter that had recently been parked at the front of the building had now been removed. It was agreed to erect 2 signs for the areas that could possibly be used for motorbikes/scooters etc.

Routine maintenance

Pigeons – the work to add chicken wire to all 50 high-level rain water hoppers is complete and will deter both pigeon nests and other blockages (see individual flat items below).  Estimates of £3K – £5K have been received to install drop netting and other pest control paraphernalia on the Elgin Avenue side of block one. It was agreed not to go ahead with more netting for the time being, as this will not solve the problem for the whole building. It was agreed to look at the situation again next spring when the pigeons are nesting, with the possibility of using a hawk to deter them.

Drains repairs – we are still awaiting response to the tender

Fire safety – following a general risk and fire assessment, the inspectors strongly recommended that the electrical intake doors be secured. This work will be carried out at a cost of £1,435 plus VAT. We have also begun testing the general electrical system.

Garden Gates – it was agreed to modify the 4 garden gates so that they can take mortice locks, the existing ones being old and unreliable.  In addition, it was agreed that the gate by the boiler house should have a lock that can be accessed by the Fire Brigade if necessary. The cost for this including 100 keys is £1,285 plus VAT.

Interior redecorations – it was noted that the final account was now paid less £1,000 still held as a retention. The manufacturers of the internal emergency lighting will meet with the electrician who installed them to try to resolve the problems.

Block one exterior – KFH will ask the structural engineers to draw up a specification of minor repairs necessary.

Block five roof – the high level coping stones have become quite worn.  A quote of £485 had been obtained to repair them. It was felt that this problem might be affecting other areas of the estate and should be dealt with as part of more comprehensive set of repairs following the forthcoming full survey of the estate.  

Company business

Following the end of the financial year, the accounts have been consolidated and a meeting with the auditor scheduled for early December.

It was agreed to write to Freshwater to see whether the caretaker’s flat would be for sale. Note that we are investigating the possibility of purchase and that no decision has been taken. In any event, we cannot proceed to purchase without consulting the flat owners.

It was agreed to hold a special board meeting to decide the way forward regarding lease extensions and the sale of shares to flat owners who do not have one

Mains water

In preparation for the installation of the break tanks and pumps, three storage vessels have been relocated within the boiler room and the necessary permissions from Freshwater (who own the lease on the boiler room) obtained.

A meeting was held 3rd October with the selected contractor (BTU Heating), the consulting engineer, project manger, managing agent and two board members. It was agreed to proceed to contract with BTU and to write to flat owners to this effect.

Central heating

Problems have been encountered after the heating system was re-commissioned after the summer drain down etc; initially with air pressure where the system had been drained down then an intermittent fault to the pressurisation/pump unit and, now recently, a possible fault with the compensator.

The equipment installed in the boiler is straightforward, uncomplicated and should be easy to maintain. The fact that the system was drained down will not help and, naturally, in very cold spells the fabric of the properties has to warm and this can take some time to be achieved.  On the basis that one or two flats may report a drop in temperature with the system, the managing agents suggested that all those on the communal heating system are written to obtain their views if the heating is reduced and or problematic. It would also be sensible to check whether any illegal alterations have been carried out to the system which may have affected the flow etc.

Individual flats

  • Works to temporarily fill cracks in one flat were authorised
  • Reports of plaster cracking in another flat are to be investigated
  • One flat has been subject to unauthorised alternations predating the acquisition of Ashworth Mansions freehold in 1991.  The owner is to be asked for a guarantee that it will deal with any problems ensuing, if necessary.
  • A license to alter various non structural items within one flat was finalised against a £1000 deposit for damages
  • One flat owner has made an application to change a bathroom layout and remove a small wall. This will be considered alongside a report from our structural engineers
  • An application to alter the layout of another flat has been made. This was agreed subject to license. Since the flat is on the ground floor, no additional nuisance would be caused
  • One flat owner has made a preliminary proposal to join two flats together. This was agreed, in principle, subject to before and after plans and a structural engineers report
  • An ex gratia payment was made to one flat owner following significant water damage from an overflowing rainwater hopper
  • One flat has reported a water leak from the flat above. The flat owners are dealing with the issue themselves
  • A top floor flat has suffered from a leak (again from a hopper). A quote for repair and re-decoration has been received.
  •            

    Summary of Ashworth Mansions Board Meeting – September 2007

    Finances

    The 2007/8 budget was agreed and has been the subject of a separate communication with flat owners. It was decided to hold a special flat owners’ meeting to discuss the budget.

    Company business

    We have received financial advice concerning the renegotiation of the lease for the caretaker’s flat. We will be considering the matter during the course of this financial year. No action can or will be taken without consultation with the flat owners.

    We have received a revised valuation report concerning lease extensions. The board agreed to bring forward plans to offer these to the flat owners.

    Internal redecorations

    Following a detailed inspection by one of the directors, there were concerns that not all snagging items had been concluded. In order to resolve matters it was agreed to speak to Manilva to get a long stop date when all items would be concluded and to agree a further retention.

    Mains water

    The second consultation on the mains water concluded on 7 September. One flat owner asked for assurances that there would be no noise nuisance from the proposed pump installation since the pumps proposed by the preferred contractor differed from those specified. We are working with the consulting engineers and the contractor to satisfy the flat owner concerns.

    Building work
    • Stack pipes – it was agreed to proceed with the cleaning of the Biddulph Road pipes outside Block 6 elevation
    • Water tanks – the tanks have been checked, cleaned and chlorinated satisfactorily
    • Asbestos – the works to conclude the removal of asbestos from the bike store were concluded on 23 August. One flat owner was obliged to move out of their flat for the duration of the works and it was agreed that Ashworth Mansions should reimburse legitimate out of pocket expenses. We are in ongoing discussions with Freshwater regarding recouping funds for asbestos removal to this area
    • Trees – the plane trees on the Elgin Avenue side will be pollarded w/c 5 November. This work was postponed from the Spring due to insufficient funds
    • Garden lighting – it was agreed to hold a demonstration of garden lighting options in November
    • Pest control – it was agreed to upgrade the netting outside Flat 6 and to fit chicken wire to all 50 high-level rain water hoppers
    Central heating and hot water

    We have agreed settlement with the previous contractor and have engaged Heatserve to maintain the system. The fuel supplier, Data Energy Management, has agreed to rebate us £1,135.40 following over-charging. The fuel contract expires on 31 October and will be retendered.

    Health and Safety

    The estate has been inspected for risk and fire safety. The report concluded that there were no urgent issues requiring attention. However, there were some minor ones and the managing agents were asked to bring forward an action plan to the next meeting. Residents are strictly forbidden from entering the roof spaces and it was agreed to circulate a safety document concerning the use of loft ladders.

    Individual flats
    • One flat is suspected of having carried out unauthorised building work which may be causing some cracking in the flat beneath. The flat was inspected by our consulting engineers in July and it was agreed that his recommendations should be enforced.
    • We are still awaiting a second competitive estimate for damp proofing in one ground floor flat.
    • One flat owner bought a lease to part of the communal space in 2002 and incorporated it into his flat. The deed of variation and service charges due, dating back to 2002 were never finalised by the previous agents. The flat owner has agreed to pay all service charges owing, once the paperwork is finalised.
    • One flat has a cistern in the roof space. This alternation was not finalised by the previous owner nor managing agents in 1999. Ashworth Mansions operates a strict policy of not permitting encroachment into the lofts. However, given the works were carried out be the previous owner, it was agreed to grant a personal license in this case. This means that the works can remain in place but will need to be removed if the flat is sold.
    • Another flat was granted a license to alter and the flat owner has deposited of £1000 against damage.
    • In one flat, an application is being considered for a change to a bathroom layout and removal of a small wall.
    • We received a letter of complaint from two flats about the alleged consequences of building work in third flat. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that this was not a matter for the landlord and that this should be communicated to the complainants.
    • The managing agents provided responses to three specific issues raised in the recent Flat Owners’ survey concerning individual flats.
    • It was agreed to settle a claim by one flat owner for £540 following a long-standing dispute dating back to the major works in 2001/2.

    Informal Budget Meeting

    Flat owners have the opportunity to discuss the Ashworth Mansions budget for 2007/8 on Monday 8 October at 20.00 in the Garden Room. This will be an informal meeting with Devika Malik who is the director leading on financial matters.

    Note of July 2007 board meeting

    Internal redecorations

    The contractor has almost completed the snagging and has continued to work to a satisfactory standard. A final account will be presented to the August board meeting but it is anticipated that the project will be completed to budget.

    Mains water

    Before statutory consultation with flat owners can begin, we need at least two quotes for the break-tank and pumps. One firm has responded in detailed fashion to our tender; another has responded incompletely. The project manager is to be pressed to ensure that flat owners are in possession of adequate information to respond to the consultation documents.

    Routine maintenance

    Pigeons – it was agreed to proceed with works to install additional netting at the two corners of the front elevation of block 8, to clear all nesting and treat the area with biocide and residual insecticides to remove all harmful bacteria.

    Stack pipes – The quotation for the cleaning down of the Biddulph Road, Block 6 elevation is still awaited.

    Water tanks – work to check, clean and chlorinate the existing water tanks was given the go ahead commencing 16 July. Residents will be notified of likely disruption.

    Drains – specifications for works on over-flowing and foul-smelling drains outside flats 10a and 50 were agreed and will be sent to tender. The cost is not expected to be great enough to require formal consultation with flat owners.

    Trees – it was agreed to postpone pollarding the trees on Elgin Avenue until the Autumn.

    Company business

    We have decided to consolidated the company’s legal requirements with TSS Law (general) and Sprecher Grier Halberstan (arrears). As a consequence, matters being dealt with by Wegg Prosser – lease extension and porter’s flat – are moving very slowly. This situation is not expected to persist.

    Individual flats

    One flat, owned by a property company, suspected of unauthorised building works, has been inspected by our engineer. It will now be the subject of a joint visit by the owner’s surveyor and ours.

    Asbestos

    A positive meeting was held on Wednesday 20th June with the contractors, consultants, managing agents, directors and the residents of block 3. Subject to contacting all other owners/residents in block 3 who did not attend, it is hoped that works can commence from Monday 20th August.

    Central heating

    We have agreed settlement with DMG Delta and have received credit notes for disputed/poor service.  The board is instigating a review of the central heating and hot water systems. This will be led by Devika Malik and Russell Blackmore. They can be contacted at hotwaterreview@ashworthmansions.com.

    Insurance

    The building has been revalued for insurance purposes. The revaluation has been undertaken at a figure for re-building for the two blocks, to include demolition costs, contingency sums, architects and surveyors fees. This information has been conveyed to insurers and we await details of renewal terms.

    Anti-social behaviour

    Following representations from Ashworth Mansions residents, the council has agreed to remove the steps/gate leading from Paddington Recreation Ground to Ashworth Road. In addition, Daron will apply a fillet to the wall to discourage the coin-tossing game.

    Garden Party

    A vote of thanks was given to Natasha Keats for organising the garden party in the face of such inclement weather.

    2008/9 Budget

    A dedicated board meeting will be held at the end of July to set the 2008/9 budget. A survey will be sent to flat owners as part of the budget process to ascertain priorities for the coming year.

    Directors’ responsibilities

    It was agreed to assign particular roles to the board members:

    Chairman & Gardens – John Sutcliffe

    Communications – Geoffrey Barraclough

    Buildings (major works) – Keith Williams

    Buildings (routine maintenance) – Russell Blackmore

    Managing agent & porter liaison  – Martin Clements

    Finance – Devika Malik

    Company Secretary – Michael Elliot

    It was agreed to draw up a one page document outlining what residents and flat owners can expect from the managing agents.

    You can contact board members via board@ashworthmansions.com

    Note of April 2007 Board Meeting

    Porters report

    Pigeons – these are increasing in numbers and irritating a growing number of residents. The pest control contractor is to be chased to re-instate the netting. It was agreed to approach a falconer to evaluate an alternative approach to pigeon control.

    Bike shed – this is now complete. 14 bikes are in the shed leaving six places spare. It was agreed that Daron would identify bike owners and issue keys subject to a £10 deposit. 

    Out of hours service – the board discussed various options and the issue was further discussed, at length, at the Annual General Meeting. 

    Intruder – it was noted that one flat owner had reported an intruder in the garden. Daron was asked to keep a watch for strangers.

    Gardens – it was noted that some residents had let off fireworks in the garden and that a dartboard had been discovered nailed to one of the trees. Daron was asked to remove the dart board and return it to its owners once they had been identified. It was agreed to circulate some guidelines for garden etiquette.

    Jet wash – it was agreed that Daron should try out Michael Elliot’s jet washer.

    Company business 

    Two flat owners remain in substantial arrears. The matter is with the solicitors. The board discussed a valuation report on lease extensions and additional shares in Ashworth Mansions Ltd. The valuer had based his estimate on incorrect information and was asked to repeat the work.

    Garden lighting

    It was agreed to hold a public demonstration of possible options for the renewal of the garden lighting. The board felt that flat owners would be better informed in their responses to future consultation if they had the opportunity to see for themselves what might be involved.

    Mains Water 

    It was noted that the performance of the consulting surveyor had not been acceptable (too slow) and that he was unlikely to be re-engaged to project manage the installation. Tenders would be sent out in time for them to be evaluated at the June board meeting. The Chairman reported on his visit to a similar installation at another block of flats and confirmed that Thames Water would make no grants towards our costs. 

    Asbestos

    Reassurance air tests had been carried out in two more flats (above those initially affected) and had found no asbestos. A meeting is to be arranged with residents concerned (block 3) in May to discuss options for finishing the work. The managing agent confirmed that he had received no response from residents to his circular of 7 February.

    Central Heating 

    Following a winter of poor service, the heating contractor has agreed to reduce a number of outstanding invoices. Additionally, kfh is proceeding with a review of the gas supply contract and invoices paid. The two hot water generators have been de-scaled. 

    Repairs

    The board discussed an engineers’ report on two broken drains – at the back of blocks 2 and 6 – which are causing unpleasant smells and that sometimes overflow. It was agreed to have the drains repaired subject to the receipt of reasonable quotes from the contractors. 

    The final account for the interior decorations is still awaited from the main contractors. Payment has been released to the carpet contractor.

    A temporary repair to the high level stack pipe has been made.  

    The new gas main supply to block 8 has been successfully installed by Transco and its scaffolding removed. 

    It was agreed to delay the planting of the replacement Cherry tree until the Autumn, on the advice of the gardeners. It was agreed to pollard the Plane trees as soon as possible. 

    Individual flats 

    It was noted that a civil engineer had been engaged to monitor cracking in two flats in different blocks. No further action is required at this time.

    After inspecting one flat and finding no unauthorised plumbing further investigations into other flats are planned. 

    In one flat, owned by a property company, it is suspected that unauthorised building work may have taken place. Having been unable to gain access to the flat, the managing agent will involve solicitors.

    Another ground floor flat is reporting damp and will be inspected. A second quote has been sought for damp proofing at another flat but it has not yet been possible to gain access for this.

    One flat owner is undertaking major alterations. A license has been issued, and the flat owner has funded a deposit and a schedule of condition of the flat below. The heating system will need to be drained and residents will be notified.

    One flat owner suffering from noise nuisance from above has been advised that Ashworth Mansions cannot take further action without a financial guarantee. It was agreed at the AGM that the board would circulate residents regarding the requirement to keep noise to a minimum. 

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